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Big dogs living inside?

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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted September 20 2003 - 07:09 AM

Please tell me how to do this. I've always wanted a German Shepherd. But in college I had a roommate that had a Black lab. It drooled everywhere, chewed everything, and the dog hair was terrible. Now I assume you can train them not to chew and if you never give them food from the table then begging/drooling will not be bad. But dog hair is bad. It gets everywhere. It gets in the carpet so much the vacuum never got it out. It's in the crease on the stairs, it's behind the cushions on the couch, it's all over the kitchen floor. What other things am I missing? I don't want a dog that just lives in the backyard. Any suggestions?

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Grant B

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Posted September 20 2003 - 07:49 AM

[quote] But dog hair is bad. It gets everywhere. [quote]
True but once they become your best friend it's easy to over look.They wont borrow your DVDs and forget to give them back unlike some roomates and friendsPosted Image
Big dogs need to run so keep that in mind and most puppies tend to chew
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#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 20 2003 - 11:53 AM

Frequent brushing will help minimize the fur that gets on the floor....Or, you can just do like I did and get carpet to match the color of your dogPosted Image

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted September 20 2003 - 01:04 PM

Neither does the dog! I've got a Black Lab and a German Shepherd so I have to vacuum every three-to-four days. Brushing doesn't really seem to help that much, they still shed like crazy. Just comes with the territory. For me it's no big deal, I'm used to it. With a good vacuum (I recommend a bagless type) and some practice you can slam through the whole house in minutes. You will find that some areas get covered with hair while some don't, and you can modify your vacuuming coverage based upon vacuuming intervals. If the thought of vacuuming that much puts you off, you might want to consider a shorthair breed that doesn't shed much. All in all a much better solution than exiling a dog to the backyard. Chewing was an easy behavior to modify with my dogs and drooling was never a problem. Some dogs do that more than others, but Shepherds aren't big droolers. I've had 3 and none of them slobbered up the place. Good luck and please do think it through. It's a 10-15 year commitment to vacuuming, medical expenses which can be huge, hours of training, etc. No refunds, no returns. German Shepherds are very smart and sensitive dogs, and they're emotionally very high maintenance. They cannot be left out in a yard all the time without getting depressed and/or going nuts. On the plus side, they have tremendously interesting personalities and bond incredibly well to those who treat them right.

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted September 20 2003 - 05:54 PM

Vacuuming is not a problem if it can work. I guess what I was really asking was if you vacuum every 3-4 days, can you keep the hair from getting so matted in the carpet that it can only be removed professionally? The guy I lived with only vacuumed once every 2 months. I refused to clean up after his dog. But then when it came time to move out we couldn't get all the hair out of the carpet. And another question. For me, a backyard will be there for them to run around sometimes and do their business. Not to live, they will live inside just like a small dog does. Is it a problem living with a huge dog in house 24/7? The lab I lived with wasn't bad, but she was smaller than a Shepherd would be.

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted September 21 2003 - 03:28 AM

tile floors.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted September 21 2003 - 04:17 AM

[quote]Is it a problem living with a huge dog in house 24/7? [quote]

I would consider it a problem NOT living a with at least one huge dog 24/7. You're a dog lover or you're not, I suppose. How do you think it might be a problem for you?

You're right to be analyzing this decision before doing anything, I commend you for that. Give it some time, you really need to be ready in every aspect before you take on this commitment. If your job is is likely to undergo a big change (forget a traveling type of career), might be planning on having children, etc. there are so many things to consider. I had dogs growing up but had to wait until I was 35 to be in a position where I could really make the commitment again. Even so, it hasn't always been easy.

There are a lot of things a dog can offer, but you also have to be prepared to do what's right for the dog for the next 10-15 years of your life. The job part has been really tough for me since I do travel, so I've always had to find great roomates who get dirt cheap rent in exchange for helping me with them. Between that, turning down favorable assignments that would result in more income, unplanned medical expenses, etc. these dogs have cost me countless thousands of dollars over the 7 years I've had them. It's worth it to me, but might not be to everyone.

German Shepherds can be prone to ACL problems in their rear knees and hip dysplasia too, so if the thought of dropping a few thousand dollars on surgery makes you blink, I would not proceed. In for a dime, in for a dollar.

I know this sounds like a lecture, sorry about that. The thing is, you can't over-analyze a decision like this. The shelters kill millions of dogs every year previously owned by people who under-analyzed thier decision.

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Mark Hayenga

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Posted September 21 2003 - 06:57 AM

Two words: Giant Schnauzer.


I have a Border Collie/Springer Spaniel mix and the hair she sheds is unbelievable. Love her to death though, and couldn't imagine making her an outside dog.
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#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth--L



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Posted September 21 2003 - 09:32 AM

Exactly. There is no point in getting a dog if you're unable to keep him/her in your home.
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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Philip_G



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Posted September 21 2003 - 08:30 PM

[quote] I have a Border Collie/Springer Spaniel mix and the hair she sheds is unbelievable. Love her to death though, and couldn't imagine making her an outside dog. [quote]
I have a springer and she sheds like a mofo, I think your dog got the shedding gene from both sides Posted Image

#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Paul Bond

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Posted September 22 2003 - 03:30 AM

We have two White German Shepards, so yes, we have white hair everywhere. But they are just wonderful. They are smart, loving, and at 100 pounds each still think they are lap dogs. If you really want a shepard, and that is what you have to think long and hard about, then you won't be disappointed. Things to consider: You can't just go out with the guys/girls after work and stay out late. There is someone waiting at home for you. Someone who needs to go outside and be fed. Dogs get bored and/or curious. They start looking around for interesting things. (Our female has discovered that she likes to read. Nothing she likes better than to sink her teeth into a good book.) Vet bills. They always cost more than you expect and at the wrong time. The shedding thing. It's been discussed here already. German Shepards have a tendency to be protective. This is generally a good thing. Sometimes they go to far. This can be a bad thing. Good training can help a lot. Hip Displaysia (sp). In today's puppy mill world, this is something to really watch for. You want to find a really reputable breeder. I know I am prejudiced, but unless you have to have a 'regular' GS, you might consider a White. While they are not accepted by the froo-froo dog world ('bad color'), they also have not been bred to death like the others. That's enough I think. If you know you want a big dog, then the negatives don't matter. If you aren't really sure, then find a friend who has one and just visit him every so often.

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   StephenA



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Posted September 22 2003 - 04:12 AM

My boxers live in the house with me. They don't givee me problems at all. I have a fenced in back yard a few times a day to do their business and to get exercise. To curb the chewing, train the dog not to chew what you don't want it to and give it lots of chew toys and chew bones. If you have them all over the house, it'll definitely help curb them from chewing undesirable stuff. Just be careful at night or when you first wake up and look where the chew things are, because after a while the things get sharp and spiked and it hurts like hell to step on them. I really don't have a problem with hair with my boxers, because they don't shed much. My pugs shed more than my boxers, believe it or not. Some dogs shed more than others, and I've read that German shephards shed alot. I don't know, because I haven't had one since I was a toddler. Just vaccuum every couple days if it's a problem, and keep up the brushing. Dogs mainly she twice a year, when the cold weather is coming and when the warm weather is coming. That's when you have to keep up with the hair the most.

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted September 22 2003 - 04:45 AM

As far as german shepherd breeders go, what else should I look for? I've found several. Some have xrays and these certification letters following the whole pedigree of all the dogs and can prove to you that they were all noted as at least 'good' in their hips. They use the same stud and bitch dogs to have the litters, never use the pups. They also go to all those dog shows which really doesn't interest me at all. Then you have these other types of 'breeders' where they don't really have any info and really only want to talk about the price. They say they have done it for years, but it seems like they don't have anything to prove it other than just getting two dogs one day and they had puppies. And what do you think about these guarantees? To me it's a hard thing to think about. I mean they come out and say they have a 2-3 year guarantee from these certain genetic problems that comes from inbreeding, but I feel strange about that. I mean this isn't a TV that if it breaks you just get a new one. And they say they will take the dog back and get you a new puppy, but still, that seems so strange just to 'trade in' a dog you have had for a few years for a new one because he turned out to be 'defective'. I know GSs are prone to the hip problems, but I've also read that the chances from reputable breeders are much less than otherwise.

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Greg_R



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Posted September 22 2003 - 05:28 AM

Some breeds constantly shed while others shed heavily twice a year. pets.yahoo.com has a breed selector which allows you to search for dogs via various parameters (size, intelligence, shedding, etc.).

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   wally


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Posted September 22 2003 - 07:11 AM

We have a fantastic fawn Great Dane.

Very calm and comfortable in the home. In fact, she's virtually a 130 LB ottomanPosted Image

A little shedding, but not too bad since it's very short hair. Boxers are good too.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted September 22 2003 - 07:44 AM

[quote] But in college I had a roommate that had a Black lab. It drooled everywhere, chewed everything [quote]Most of the time you can blame the owner for a dog that chews everything. A well trained dog won't.

My Friend: "My dog chews the hell out of EVERYTHING!"
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#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted September 22 2003 - 08:07 AM

Yes the owner was definitely lazy. One of those people that screams at the dog for barking, but ten minutes later gets the dog all rilled up and yells speak to get him to bark. Just was wondering if some breeds chew no matter what, kind of like how Huskies and malamutes will dig no matter hat.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted September 22 2003 - 09:24 AM

I think almost all breeds chew when they're young, seems every dog I've had did at first. My Shepherd dug holes in the yard pretty regularly when I got him, there's a good fix for that. When you refill the holes put a piece of dog crap in there with the dirt, and when he digs up the hole again he gets an unpleasant surprise. About a week of that cured the digging for good.

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Ryan_C


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Posted September 23 2003 - 07:00 AM

I have an 80 pound red/rust doberman who is well trained. He is about 4 now, and doesn't shed much, and doesn't chew either. Total inside dog, no probs whatsoever.
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#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Mark Paquette

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Posted September 23 2003 - 10:48 AM

[quote] Just was wondering if some breeds chew no matter what [quote]

All dogs chew. They chew, well, because they are dogs. The trick is to make sure your dog has plenty of good things to chew while he/she is young. Keep things you don't want your dog to chew put away. Buy yourself a book about basic obedience training for dogs before you even think about getting a dog. If you are committed to spend some time training your dog while its young, you will be rewarded with a well behaved dog. Do some research about different breeds of dogs. Find out what you can live with, such as shedding, drooling etc. It just drives me mad when people "get rid" of an animal because it sheds, drools or whatever. Like that's the animals fault or something. You should know what you're getting yourself into before you make the committment to take care of a dog. Personally I have a Labrador Retriever that is 8 years old. She is a wonderful dog that sheds, drools and chews. She only chews on her toys and does not chew anything she shouldn't. She knows the basics of obidience; sit, stay, down and I can take her for a walk without getting hauled down the street. The shedding is a pain, but vacuuming 1-2 times per week does the trick. I wouldn't trade her for anything.

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